Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Leviathan Crusader: Assembling the body

Armless, but still imposing.
Having finished building the legs, instead of going on to assemble the arms as the instructions suggested, I decided I wanted to finish the core of the titan.  Since the arms can easily be swapped at any time, I wanted to see the actual body of the crusader come together, and then decide on how to arm it afterwards.

When assembling the pelvis/spine region of the body, you put three ball joints on the titan (one for each leg and one for the spinal column).  These fit on so tightly that glue is not necessary, and I would actually recommend not using it at all.  You need to apply a huge amount of pressure to get the balls to slide in completely, and if you apply glue it might set before they are completely in position.  Even without glue, when you put them on they are not coming back off, so make sure you are committed when applying them.  After attaching them, I did apply some super thin cement (something I really recommend if you are starting to build such a large plastic kit, because it can easily be applied after you have fitted pieces together and are certain they are attached properly).  

The upper body slots onto the spinal column via a ball joint as well.  There are also two pistons that connect the pelvis to the upper body.  The bottom of the pistons are sandwiched between the hip and groin armour; both of the bottom parts are identical so there is no worry of switching them.  The top section of these pistons fit into the upper body using a lock and key system.  Although these are mirror images of each other, they can easily be removed if the wrong one was put on.  The instructions at this point are a little less clear, in that there are not many included reference pictures showing how the completed sections fit together.  This led me to attaching the upper body to the spine with the back section facing the front (this became clear when the pistons I mentioned barely fit).  Luckily, this was as easy to fix as rotating the parts around the ball and socket joint (I simply removed the upper part of the pistons and rotated the body into the proper position and locked the pistons into place again).  The kit has time and again shown clever design choices like this, allowing the assembly to be almost full-proof and difficult to assemble incorrectly (which is a relief, with such a complex model).

Before and after adding the torso pistons; notice the interesting locking mechanism for the upper half of the pistons (can be added after the spine has been attached).
After assembling the core upper body section (attaching the shoulders and applying the tension screws), the rest of the body is pretty quick to assemble.  You simply layer large sections of armour on top of the core, and the Crusader comes together surprisingly quickly.

Adding the arm joints to the upper body.
Before the armour plates are added to the body.
With the armour plates on, the Crusader is almost done!
Instead of using the steam-punk torch generators that came stock with the Crusader, I opted for using the capacitor cooler that I was sent for free due to the Kickstarter.  I like the more compact look of the cooler, and feel it is more at home with the 40k universe (it looks suspiciously like a Dreadnought powerpack).  Overall, it is not very difficult to assemble, although I would recommend referencing the instructional diagram on DreamForge’s blog (it is still helpful despite not including the part numbers).

The Crusader in all its glory.
After adding all the armour plates, the legs were easy to slip on and are sturdy without adding glue.  This makes it really easy to play around with all the Crusader’s articulation points and try to settle on a pose for it.  I am still deciding on how I would like mine to look, but feel it will be easier to make a definitive conclusion when the arms/weapons are finished.  The Crusader has been a really enjoyable kit to build thus far, now just for the final stretch!  If you have any questions or thoughts, let me know!

-Godwyn Fischig

Read more about the assembly process!

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